Last December, Carmen Rosario moved to Pittsburgh from Puerto Rico after the disastrous Hurricane Maria hit her hometown. With a background in customer service, she began looking for employment as soon as she was settled.
While receiving support at South Hills Interfaith Movement, a United Way of Southwestern PA funded agency, Carmen learned about an opportunity for a part-time job as a resource navigator with PA 2-1-1 Southwest. “I didn’t know too much about 2-1-1, but I enjoy working with people and helping them,” Carmen said.
As she learned more, it seemed the position was a perfect fit for Carmen, and PA 2-1-1 Southwest was so glad that, on top of her relevant experience and uplifting attitude, she can also speak both English and Spanish.
“We get a lot of calls from Spanish-speaking people, and they are relieved when I get on the phone with them,” Carmen said. “They feel more comfortable and can explain their situation better.”
Carmen enjoys her new job and feels like she is making a difference – and learning a lot about her new community along the way.
“Every day is different, different situations, different people calling,” Carmen explained. “But I really like that, and I feel very excited to work here. It’s a window to other things that I had never known existed.”
Carmen joined the PA 2-1-1 Southwest team in July and has since helped hundreds of Spanish-speaking and English-speaking community members find the resources they need to get back on their feet.